Teenager jailed for killing two in drug-addled traffic accident

By Lam Van   September 11, 2020 | 08:08 pm PT
A Hanoi court on Friday sentenced a 16-year-old boy to 30 months in jail for fatally running over two people, including a South Korean man.

Tran Duc Long was found guilty of "violating road traffic regulations," an offense that could potentially fetch 10 years, but the family of the victims asked the court for leniency as he had paid them VND600 million ($25,870) compensation as requested.

He did not have a valid driver’s license and tested positive for ecstasy and methamphetamine at the time of driving.

Long admitted that he frequently used drugs and sometimes borrowed cars to drive despite not having a driver’s license.

In Vietnam, one needs to be 18 to get a license to drive motorbikes and cars.

According to prosecutors, in October 2019 his adoptive mother took him by car to a local bar. While she was dancing, Long took the car key from the table and drove away on his own.

Tran Duc Long stands trial in Hanoi for fatal traffic accident, September 11 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Van.

Tran Duc Long stands trial in Hanoi for a deadly traffic accident, September 11, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Van.

The accident happened when his car hit a motorbike moving in the same direction in Long Bien District. A Vietnamese man and a 67-year-old South Korean man sitting behind on the motorbike died on the spot.

Long called an ambulance and took a taxi to flee to his hometown in nearby Nam Dinh Province and gave himself up a day after.

Road crashes are a leading cause of death in Vietnam. This year, traffic accidents killed an average 17 people every day.

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